Monday, December 05, 2005

The State of The Nation

As a country we are indeed at a crossroads. We have people on the Left who actually believe that those on the right are “forcing” their brand of morality on them, when in reality they are “forcing” their brand of morality on the right.

Notice I am not saying Democrats or Republicans, as there are left and right in both parties. Once we get into the foolish notion of saying, “all Dems are bad, and all Reps are good", or vice versa, we have lost sight of the real battle for the soul of this nation. The real battle is in the notion of “freedom” versus “force.” Or “Individualism” versus “Collectivism.”



Two views when looking at the same things.

Points in comparison:
================

1. Abortion.
- While the right believes there are circumstances where abortion should be legal, i.e., when the mothers life is threatened, as in self-defense, the left refuses to acknowledge that their might be a real person in the womb at some point and wants abortion as a form of after the fact birth control.
- In reality abortion on demand is the ultimate act of selfishness. The notion that it is “My Body” refuses to acknowledge that it is at some point in the process, a matter of “three people” involved, not just one.
- Notice that "My Body" is about as selfish as one can get. They are saying..."It's MY body and my baby can just suffer pain and death, as I could care less." What a wonderful concern for the Golden Rule and fairness. Sure was a good thing their mother didn't have that same selfish attitude.
- To be so selfish as to not even acknowledge that the baby might just be alive at some point prior to birth is beyond rational belief.

2. Socialism.
- While the right believes that the individual has the moral responsibility to care for the poor, the left believes the government does. Or, in some cases, the left believes that both do. Since we are the government, they want to “force” their idea of “forced philanthropy” on all of us. They are in essence saying, “We are more enlightened than you, and therefore we feel that you will not care for your neighbor as you should, so we will force you to.”

- First it was "free" education. Next it will be "Free Health Care." Then next it will be "Free House" and "Free Car." Why not, they are all "necessary", aren't they? When do we stop, when everyone is poor/Equal?
- Either you believe in the idea of the "Bell shaped Curve", (Upper, Middle, and Lower Class), when it comes to enjoying the fruits of your labor, or you believe in everyone living off the fruits of everyone else's labor.

3. Government.
- While the left believes that government can solve everything by just using their enlightened wisdom, the right sees the fact that bureaucracies are the problem, not the solution. The fact that governments more often than not spends other peoples money unjustly, inefficiently, and unwisely, just escapes them.

4. Religion.
- While the left sees the Christian right forcing their brand of religion on others, the right sees just the opposite.
- While the left fails to realize that the Christian right does not want to force any particular brand of religion on the nation, the right wants the nation to acknowledge that everyone must answer the single most important moral and ethical question of all time, and that is The Question of God. There is no possible neutral ground on this question. Either you believe in God or you don’t. Those at work trying to remove God from our heritage and our nation are “forcing” their Atheism on the rest of us, all in the name of “neutrality.” Either you are a Theist or you are an Atheist, there is no in between.
- While the left is feverishly pushing for tolerance , they are all the while being intolerant. Take for example the news of the little girl in Washington State who was asked by the teacher to place their foot on a sheet of paper, trace around it and then label it or write what you think about it. The little girl wrote below her foot, “Jesus loves me.” Was the teacher tolerant? No, she scolded the little girl and told her she must not write about Christianity in public schools. But yet when the parents investigated why their little girl ran home crying, they found the teacher would not have been “offended” by the “Star of David” or the “Crescent” of Islam. So, who is intolerant? Is Christianity under attack or is the left’s version of “freedom of expression” the only one that counts?

5. War against Wahabism.
- While the left hasn’t got a clue as to how to fight against an enemy that has no nation, the right is doing their best to at least not just stand around and do nothing like the left did for eight years before. Clinton had numerous chances to get rid of Ben Laden, but was too worried about how popular it would be to do something. So, he choose to do nothing instead.
- The left criticizes the war, but then has no plan other than “cut and run.” Some plan.

- The left looks at 5 pieces of paper that all say the same things. One from France, one from Britian, one from Spain, one from Russia, and one from the U.S.A., or Bush. At the time the left said, "we believe in what all these papers on intelligence say and we vote to do something about it." Then when there are actual casualties, the left says, "All of the other papers were right, but the one that Bush gave us was all lies." And the real problem is that the MSM says "Bush Lied", but the others didn't, and the ignorant and closed minded belive it! Even when all of the intelligence reports said the same thing! Incrediable blind hatred!

We need to quit saying that the Republicans are all corrupt and the Democrats are not, and vice-versa. There are good and bad people in every walk of life, including government. It is just so naïve to think that one party or the other is all good or bad. The party in power is always on the defensive. It is a fact of nature that the opposition will always demonize the party in power, because it will always be about power, where it should always be about what is good for the country.

Lets talk about ways to improve our contry, instead of always finger pointing, because you know what they always say, "When you point your finger, there are four more pointing back at you."



The problem is that "They" even get the old saying wrong. It should be, "When you point your finger, there are THREE more pointing back at you.", because your thumb is not a finger, and is usually not pointing either way anyway.

26 Comments:

At 4:30 AM, Blogger buytrafficforblog said...

nice classification of left and right

 
At 9:45 PM, Blogger Roseville Conservative said...

Good Lord FAR...

Outstanding, your talent to write is definately God-Given.

God Bless you for your maturity and Wisdom. I am better off for knowing you.

Your friend in Christ, Aaron.

 
At 10:21 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Thanks Aaron! :)

I hope I never disappoint my friends, and I do consider you one of them.


Gary.

 
At 9:31 AM, Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox said...

Very well said.

 
At 4:51 PM, Blogger SactoDan said...

Great Post!

 
At 9:52 AM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

FAR,

I think you are intelligent and I respect your opinions, but this post is over the top and it cannot go unanswered.

At the onset, I challenge the 5-point straw man you have set up to frame this discussion. This country is, indeed, at a crossroads and it is necessary to discuss solutions, but this straw man is largely stuffed with trivia and inconsequential points. Thus, I will return to the source of what makes America unique and special. The Constitution.

The Constitution says nothing about whether the nation should be capitalist or socialist and it conspicuously excludes mention of religion except to say everyone is free to believe as they see fit. A true discussion about the state of America is not whether we are capitalist or socialist, but whether we, as a nation, still respect the framework of this great Republic.

Right or left, republican or democrat, the fact of the matter is that the federal government under the Bush Administration has abused the Bill of Rights and the separation of powers/checks and balances principles of the constitution with impunity since assuming power. It is irrelevant whether you agree with 20% or whatever of the PATRIOT Act. It is an unconscionable circumvention of the 4th and 5th amendments and those who support it demonstrate their utter disregard for America. The fed has interfered with education, state laws regarding the right-to-die and wants to butt into the gay marriage debate. These are all areas that are reserved to the states and interference with such states' rights is a blatant insult to the framers. You and your readers can insult the ACLU all you like, and I agree that it takes on some stupid issues, but at the end of the day, they are fighting the good fight to save our Constitution and it is the "right" who is trying to destroy our civil liberties.

Returning to your straw man, I will go point by point.

1. Abortion. I still cannot understand why this is the defining issue of politics. It is a state issue and even if Roe v Wade is overruled, it can still be legalized in individual states. Speaking of selfishness, however, the same people who oppose abortion think it's okay to slaughter people in Iraq in the name of "winning." How much more selfish can you be to volunteer others to die to boost your ego and self-righteousness?

2. Socialism. The "right" is far more socialist than the "left" on a good day. I am sick and tired of this dishonest prattling about the left and socialism when GW and his apostles are the worst agents of socialism. Wolves in sheep's clothing, if you will. Tax breaks to energy companies, subsidies to farmers and tariffs on imports are unabashed socialism. Period. The only distinction between the "right" and the "left" is WHO should be the recipient of welfare, not whether welfare should exist.

3. Government. Another intellectually dishonest point. The "left" isn't the group who handed over state responsibility over education to the fed. The "right" took it. The fed has assumed responsibility for bringing "democracy" to another country and sending our people to die for that. GW and his ilk give tax credits to energy companies because they think it is the responsibility of the fed to make sure that companies making record profits have the chance to bilk even more from the taxpayers. It is the "right" that is swelling the size of the federal government.

4. Religion. This is wrong. First of all, I can't believe that you would suggest that the Christian right is only trying to impose deism, not Christianity, on the nation. That is beyond dishonest when you have the psychopath mouthpieces of the "right" like Ann Coulter saying things like we should go into the Muslim countries and convert them to Christianity.

Who is working hard to remove God from the heritage? Everyone is free to practice religion and believe in God as they see fit. The religious "right" is upset that its attempt to exchange religion for science is being opposed. Pat Robertson got his agency listed second on the FEMA Hurricane Katrina relief website, faith-based programs receive federal dollars (another type of welfare recipient on the dole), Roberts is on the Supreme Court and GW is President. Give me a break about the persecution of Christians in this nation. One teacher telling a kid not to write Jesus Loves Me does not constitute persecution. Puh-leeze.

5. Wahabism. Here's another non-issue. Wahabis are pretty much confined to and bred in Saudi Arabia. Assuming, for argument's sake, that the followers of Wahhab's teachings are those who believe in committing terror, then it seems to me that the U.S. should have gone after Saudi Arabia (an extremist Wahhabi nation), as opposed to Iraq, a secular non-religious nation under Saddam, which was equally hated by the religious whackjobs. Instead, the "right" continues to support the regime that imposes (by the sword) Wahhabism on its people with money, arms, investment opportunities and vacations to Crawford.
I can't believe you are buying into this nonsense about "cutting and running" v. "staying the course." If there is one thing I have learned about the MSM and its corporate/government sponsors is that when they want to prepare the populace for something a year later, they start having nonsense debates in advance. Then the "right" accuses the "left" of whatever sin sounds good to deflect from the solution and it keeps all the small-minded people on the edge of their seats. Pleez. It was the so-called "left" that suggested there were no WMD's and the right went after them, but it prepared the nation for all the excuses and changes in justifications that would follow. This debate between staying or leaving is much ado about nothing.

Let's talk about ways to improve our country.

1. Get GW out of office and replace him with someone who respects the Constitution and the liberties it represents.

2. Stop militarizing the nation. We need kids in school, not dying on the front lines, so the US can hold onto its slowly eroding technological edge.

3. Abolish corporate welfare. The "right" has nothing to say about individual welfare until it is first goes after foreign and corporate welfare. If Israel gets $10B per year and Egypt gets $2B per year, then the single mom in New Orleans deserves her $500 per month. Both are wrong, but do the math and figure out which is the bigger financial cost to society -
credits to Exxon or $100 for someone's healthcare.

 
At 11:33 AM, Blogger Stalin the Shark said...

I'd like to add a few points, if I may.

First of all, the classification of left and right offered here is completely false. The distinguishing characteristic of the 'left', or, as I prefer to say, the 'American' side, is that we believe the government has no business interfering in people's private expression, beliefs and lives, while the right wants the heavy boot of the government to enforce their approved codes of behavior and expression. That's not 'conservative', that's totalitarian.

In the same vein, nobody, certainly not my own government, is going to force me to take a position on whatever superstition is en vogue at a given time, be it christianity, tarot cards or the easter bunny. Americans prefer to keep their beliefs private, not public - that's the law, and any othe view is by definition un-American, illegal, immoral and wrong.

That's the real divide here - public and private, not 'atheism' or 'theism'. Only totalitarians demand public professions ofloyalty.

That leads to the next conclusion: that the real division of the country is between totalitarians and people who value freedom.

:-), StS

 
At 12:44 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

ii,

I agree with states rights.

I agree that Bush has abused his powers.

I agree that both sides practice Socialism, but that is why I didn't say R's and D's, just right and left. Generally the Left wants more welfare to the individual, and the RINO's want more to corporations. I don't want either.

As usual you have a lot to say that is spot on.

My response is that sometimes I say something like..."The left craps in the woods", and you respond with, "Yea, but the right shoots birds."

That is not really addressing the points. Abortion is selfish, fighting an unjust war can also be selfish, but fighting it does not mean that abortion is not selfish.

Being Intellectually dishonest is attempting to decive. If you say sonmething that you believe with all your heart is correct, and it turns out that you overlooked a few points or you neglected to address them due to honest reasons, like time, space or some other legitimate reason, then it is hurtful to accuse someone of being intellectually dishonest. It is close to calling them a liar, if not actually doing it.

I may be many things, but I try with all my heart to tell the truth.

2. Religion: When I am talking about the ACLU removing God, and Eudow removing God, then I am not talking about flippant remarks made by Ann Coulter when she was using levity.

We should address these items one at a time because the deserve more space and time than I have to give at this moment. Perhaps we can discuss this eveing point by point because I can see that the core issues in all of your points were missed and diverted.

You should know by now that I don't use talking points and I am just as concerned about the Police Power of the state as you, but I have legitimate concerns that are founded and logical.

I am for geetting someone in the White House that is more for the Constitution than Bush, the problem is the Dems don't have anyone better and it usually appears that you are siding with the Dems on most points.

1. Abortion. "it can still be legalized in individual states." I think very few people want it to be illegal, just have a little more protection for the baby.

As far as killing in Iraq. The real issue is not who is being selfish by being in Iraq, it is "Is this a Just war?"


I'll address your other points later tonight.

Hope your Mom is doing O.K.


Your friend,

Gary/FAR.

 
At 12:49 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

sts,

Your comment "That leads to the next conclusion: that the real division of the country is between totalitarians and people who value freedom."

IS SPOT ON!

I couldn't agree more.

The difference is we are looking through different filters to our brain. One of us has an incorrect filter, or we both have points against the others position and it is just a matter of degree.

:)


FAR.

 
At 1:01 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

sts,

Here are some of the differences.

I want the government to stay out of the bedroom and the boardroom.

You want the government to stay out of the bedroom but interfere in the boardroom. You want the governemnt to force me to have hiring quotoa, to not fire someone because of certian reasons, even thou it is my business. I think ii will agree with me on this one...that the government should stay out of business. It should not give corportate welfare, nor shoud it give individual welfare, both are interfering in private matters.

That is just one example.

:)

FAR.

 
At 1:15 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

ii,

Clinton, Kerry, et, al, said that there were WMD's and were for regime change. If the left believed there were no WMD's, then why were they all prediction up to 100k causalties, (Bill Mahr said it on his show up until we got rid of Saddam. Why were the inspectors there if the left believed that he no longer had them? It was never the case that he never had them, it was the case that even he could not prove that they were destroyed. Perhaps he believed he had them and was being fooled by his generals.

:)

FAR.

 
At 1:39 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

sts,

Test the position I gave. I want the government out of the bedroom and the boardroom. My position is consistent with freedom.

Your position is inconsistant. You want social freedom, but economic totalitarianism. Where I want freedom in both arenas.

:)

FAR.

 
At 2:37 PM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

FAR -

I did not mean to suggest that you are trying to deceive when I said that the point was intellectually dishonest. I apologize if that's the way it came off and I will choose better wording next time.

If Ann Coulter is not an accurate representation of the right, then Newdow does not represent the left. Both are crackpots and suggesting that Newdow's lawsuit represents a concerted effort by the left to impose atheism on the nation is a huge leap in logic. You can't keep building up the left as Newdow and Moore, but then say that Coulter, Robertson and that gas bag O'Reilly do not speak for the right. Sorry, it cuts both ways.

Since we are in agreement that GW and his posse have overstepped their bounds, I again ask how you can be a Republican. Idol worship, religious fanatacism and disrespect for the Constitution have become the pillars of the party. You say you want the government out of the boardroom and the bedroom, but Republicans want government in the bedroom. They have inserted themselves into the private sphere time and again and the so-called "right" has not just passively observed these transgressions, but have actively justified them. It is wrong to anyone who respects America.

I could care less if Clinton and Kerry had whatever intelligence. I am no fan of either. This isn't a case about bad intelligence because, at the end of the day, Iraq was a sovereign nation with every right to have the same WMD's that America has and sells at a profit. Bombing Iraq over its weapons is like a gun store owner shooting a purchaser of one of its products because the purchaser possesses a gun. This nonsense about Iraq is nothing but smoke and mirrors to hide the pillage of its oil fields.

There has yet to be a Democrat that is worth being in the White House. I am not siding with the Dems -- I am tired of the false dichotomy between left and right when, indeed, Sharky has it right that the distinction is properly between privacy and an all-knowing 1984 state.

Before you can bash the so-called left for its worship of big government, you must address why the "right" has used the fed to usurp state's rights to allow their citizens to die, to smoke marijuana, to educate children, to impose religion.

 
At 3:04 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

ii,

said: "If Ann Coulter is not an accurate representation of the right, then Newdow does not represent the left. Both are crackpots and suggesting that Newdow's lawsuit represents a concerted effort by the left to impose atheism on the nation is a huge leap in logic."

Coulter is not "always" an accurate representation of the right.

But Newdow is on the same side as the ACLU which I believe is using freedom to destroy freedom. To explain that one, might take awhile.

First as far as the War goes, I am an Isolationist and did not want us to go to war. Having said that, now that we are there my position is "that leaving too soon will cause more damage than it will solve."

The bombers are just like a neighborhood gang that hides in the slums by day and then rapes and pillages during the night. Only the bombers don't just rape, they blow up innocent people of their same race more than they blow us up.

The logic that having the police stay at home will some how stop the gangs from doing "their thing" is not good logic.

Abu wants to take over that country and put someone like Saddam or Saddam back in power so as to have an ally in their terror, if we left, they would still be wanting control, only more so. These guys, (the organizers), were not just kniting sweaters when we got there.

1. "used the fed to usurp state's rights to allow their citizens to die" - Besides Schivo, how has the "right" not let people die a natural death?

2. "to smoke marijuana." - You know we are in complete agreemment here. You asked me often if I were really a Libertarian.

3. "to educate children." - This should also be a State issue.

4. "to impose religion." - How has the right imposed religion? There is no neutral position on the question of Theism or Atheism, and I have yet to hear a right-winger call for a National Religion. Christianity has over 1200 denomonations just here in the U.S. alone. We need the pilars of the standards that religions espouse, but not the imposition of any particular dogma as a requirement or National Religion.

"the distinction is properly between privacy and an all-knowing 1984 state."

It looks like you, sharky and I are in complete agreement here. I guess as I said before I see that most on the left are for freedom when it comes to social freedom, but like sharky, they have made it clear that they dispise free enterprise and are definately on the big brother imposed sactions against all business, such as 1984.

Either private property exists or it doesn't and the left in general thinks that business is not a private property, and that it belongs to the government to run as it sees fit.

I hope you see that big distinction as clearly as I do.

:)

FAR.

 
At 3:22 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

ii,

I spend hours agonizing over this one statement...

"Should you allow so much freedom so as to allow people to destroy freedom?"

Let me give you an example.

During the Warren Buger SCOTUS, a man who was an actual "card carrying communist" was fired from a Top Secret Defense Contract position, when it was discovered he had secret meetings with known spies, he was given his clearence back and his job back because we can't discriminate because of party affiliation.

Is this going overboard? Is allowing someone who wants to destroy everyones else's freedom, the freedom to do so, not the epitome of insanity?

:)

FAR.

 
At 3:39 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Oops, that's Burger, not Buger.

:)

FAR.

 
At 7:49 PM, Blogger Stalin the Shark said...

FAR, honestly, this is drivel.

You go on and on about how much the left hates your economic freedom - because we believe in socialist extortion like well-funded public education - and then you give short shrift to right-wing crony socialism. That's bad, too, you say, but let's talk more about the odious theft that is the school lunch program. You write encyclopedias about welfare for people, and not a word about welfare for corporations.

And then, after you've sung paeans to the menaced freedom of your wallet, threatened as it is by greedy mobs of poor people, enabled by unjust laws, you turn around and say that freedom doesn't matter when it comes to the transcendent evil of 'atheism' - which is, in your view, the refusal to do the Jesus dance in public.

Like I said earlier, the divide here is between freedom and totalitarianism - and you're on the wrong side of it.

 
At 8:15 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

sts,

I have mentioned many times that I don't like any form of welfare, corporate or individual.

Just a few comments above I said:
"..It should not give corportate welfare, nor shoud it give individual welfare, both are interfering in private matters."

So, saying that i say "not a word about welfare for corporations." is not really true is it?

You are for social freedom but economic totalitarianism. You want the government to stay out of your bedroom, but interfer where you want them to in other peoples "businesses." Who agiain is for freedom?

Me. I want them out of both. You want them out of only one area. The social area. You like governemnt interference in business, but you will not admit it because it makes your position inconsistant.

I am close to Libertarian because I believe in both social and economic freedom which is the true test of who really supports freedom from government interference.

:)

FAR.

 
At 9:37 AM, Blogger Stalin the Shark said...

FAR,paying taxes to support your freely-chosen society's goals is not 'economic totalitarianism'. To have that, you would need to abolish private property as a whole, and I don't see anyone arguing for that.

By contrast, your demands of compulsory theism are an exact replica of totalitarian governance throughout history. Your mandatory Jesus dance is just a different flavor of what goes on in North Korea, Cuba and Zimbabwe - same methods, different dance.

I'd also note that libertarians usually believe in a woman's right to do whatever the hell she wants with her body, which you don't. Libertarians also tend to think there should be no legal distinctions between gay and straight people - you don't.

If you're a libertarian, I'm a wheel of cheese. End of story.

:-), StS

 
At 10:11 AM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

FAR,

If Coulter is not "always" an accurate depiction of the right, then you must admit that Newdow is not always an accurate depiction of the left. You can't keep disclaiming these evil mouthpieces of the right when it's convenient, but then attribute all of Newdow's actions to the left. I'll take Newdow over Coulter anyday. At least he allows the courts to settle his disputes, illustrating he has some measure of respect for our judicial system. Coulter and her sheep followers on the right think the Constitution is a nuisance obstruction in the path of their goals. Going back to my original point, anyone who loves America would put love for the Constitution as priority number one.

Admittedly, the ACLU taken on some crazy issues, but it is the only organization out there fighting to protect our civil liberties. When you can point out an example of a group on the right fighting that fight, then you will have credibility on the ACLU bashing. Until then, the ACLU should be getting praise. You are willing to overlook all the un-American things GW and his thugs do that are in blatant violation of your espoused values, yet you do not give the ACLU the same benefit of the doubt for the good things that it does. The ACLU fought to end segregation, it fought to protect the KKK's right to hold a march. That is integrity - something sorely lacking on the so-called right. You end your post saying we should discuss solutions, not point fingers. Well, all I hear from the so-called right is a lot of whining about the ACLU, but I see no action that demonstrates an inkling of respect for our Constitution. Indeed, all I see from the bags of hot air is a great deal of disdain for it.

When the US gets rid of the extremist Wahhabi regime in Saudi Arabia, it will have some credibility complaining about Zarqawi and whoever else it doesn't like at the moment. Until then, this war on terror is nothing more than an excuse to run amok and deprive the world, including American citizens, of the human rights that this country supposedly believes in.

If too much freedom can destroy freedom, then it seems to me that the Republican party and GW is the best illustration of that point.

FAR - please maintain your credibility. If you believe in freedom, how do you cast a ballot for GW?

1. Besides Schiavo, the fed government sued Oregon over its right to die law. The case was recently heard by the Supreme Court and the decision is pending. Predictably, and in step with his Constitution-hating patrons, Roberts was an active chief judge demanding an explanation why the fed can't tell Utah what it can do with its citizens.

4. The fed is imposing religion by funding faith-based programs (tell me if any of those programs are non-Christian); by putting Psycho Robertson's corrupt Operation Blessing #2 on the FEMA Hurricane Relief website.

We are in agreement that the right has swelled the federal government. Where is your post about that? You are simply preaching to the choir when you bash the left as illustrated by RC's comment, but I want to see the maverick thinker you claim to be take your own folks to task. That is the only way things change.

 
At 10:36 AM, Blogger Reign of Reason said...

2. “Socialism”
First thing to say-- we need to use analysis to solve our problems: In particular, we can’t use the axiom ‘free markets are always good and right’ when trying to address complicated issues.

Can’t you conceive of public financing of education, health and programs for the poor as helping ALL of society, not just those who you imply receive the handout? You need to see beyond the image of ‘my labor being used to help someone else’ to determine if such policies are actually good – and by good, I mean good for EVERYONE.

Take public education: isn’t it obviously in the best interests to have a literate public and workforce? It’s one of the main reasons we have the standard of living we do: an educated populace means more innovation (as one small example). Without public education we end up with only those with means receiving good educations. Where does that leave the next Albert Einstein? The classic example: you have a 17 year old who has parents that hire private tutors, send him to the best prep schools, and enroll him in SAT prep classes. He takes the SATs 5 times – with a 1200 as his best score.

On the other hand, you have a poor, inner-city youth – also 17. He has a single parent who doesn’t have much time to help with his studies. He goes to a sub-par school but he’s smart – he’s got a lot of potential. He takes the SAT once and scores a 1100. Who should get the scholarship to Harvard?

A purely ‘market driven’ approach wouldn’t necessary put the best student into that school.

The crux of ‘civilization’ is “shared risk” – that’s why people band together.

And the health care situation is a perfect example: without universal care, you will continue to see a significant portion of the population wait until care becomes critical, and more expensive, before it is sought. That increases the cost for ALL OF US (when an uninsured person shows up at the emergency room).

A few things to consider re: healthcare: (from the Times) In 2002 a mere 5 percent of Americans incurred almost half of U.S. medical costs. If you find yourself one of the unlucky 5 percent, your medical expenses will be crushing, unless you're very wealthy -- or you have good insurance.
But in the real insurance market, a company that offered such a policy to anyone who wanted it would lose money hand over fist. Healthy people, who don't expect to face high medical bills, would go elsewhere, or go without insurance. Meanwhile, those who bought the policy would be a self-selected group of people likely to have high medical costs. And if the company responded to this selection bias by charging a higher price for insurance, it would drive away even more healthy people.

Health insurance markets on this company operate not by offering the best service, but by competing for the client base that is LEAST likely to use their services. That means there is even MORE inefficiency in delivering health care to those who need it since a very HIGH percentage of your health care $$ go to administration (the Times):
America's health care system spends more, for worse results, than that of any other advanced country.
In 2002 the United States spent $5,267 per person on health care. Canada spent $2,931; Germany spent $2,817; Britain spent only $2,160.
he U.S. system is much more bureaucratic, with much higher administrative costs, than those of other countries, because private insurers and other players work hard at trying not to pay for medical care. And our fragmented system is unable to bargain with drug companies and other suppliers for lower prices.
Taiwan, which moved 10 years ago from a U.S.-style system to a Canadian-style single-payer system, offers an object lesson in the economic advantages of universal coverage. In 1995 less than 60 percent of Taiwan's residents had health insurance; by 2001 the number was 97 percent. Yet according to a careful study published in Health Affairs two years ago, this huge expansion in coverage came virtually free: it led to little if any increase in overall health care spending beyond normal growth due to rising population and incomes.

 
At 10:39 AM, Blogger Reign of Reason said...

"the right wants the nation to acknowledge that everyone must answer the single most important moral and ethical question of all time, and that is The Question of God."

I don't care. But what I do care about is using my $$$ to teach some 3000 year old junk to kids while they are falling behind the rest of the world in math and science.

Talk about god in the home and the church -- there is NO Christian heritage for the US.

 
At 10:40 AM, Blogger Reign of Reason said...

You really shouldn't blog about things you know nothing about: 5. War against Wahabism.

Have you read the entire 9/11 commission report?

Enough said...

 
At 10:59 AM, Blogger Reign of Reason said...

FAR:

"We need the pilars of the standards that religions espouse, but not the imposition of any particular dogma as a requirement or National Religion."

We were able to found the nation without them so I don't think we need them now.

There are many non-christian countries that have superior 'morals' to ours (Tibet for one).

 
At 11:02 AM, Blogger Reign of Reason said...

Folks: business NEEDS to be regulated.

Big-business can lead to exceptional profits (in our system). HUGE PROFITS == influence in government. Disproportionate influence by big business leads to civil injustice.

Just look back to the age of the robber barrons... labor abuses (inc child labor), etc. People will ALWAYS abuse others to make a buck... Government regulation of the board room is there to reduce it.

So what if it isn't 'perfectly effecient' -- the drive for more $$$ will always be there, even in the face of high taxes.

 
At 4:10 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

Regarding your paragraph on government: I recently heard Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH) on CSpan debating the recent tax cut extensions. During her rant, she made the following statement that just blew me away. It pretty much sums up the feelings of the political left in this country.

"[Republicans] have the gall to suggest that the people know better how to handle their money than the government."

(That may be a bit of a paraphrase. It was about a week ago.)

It just astounds me how people can assume that government is somehow more attuned to the financial needs of private citizens than the citizens themselves. It's part of that "Cradle to the Grave" mentality that has caused our nation to become so dependent on government.

 

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